The name Jalpaiguri came from the word "jalpai" means "olive" which grew in the town and were seen even in 1900. The suffix "guri" means a place. The name as well be associated with Jalpesh, the presiding deity (Shiva) of the entire region. The district situated in the northern part of West Bengal has international borders with Bhutan and Bagladesh in the North and South respectively and borders with Assam and Darjeeling hills in the East, West and Northwest.
The entire topography is crisscrossed with rivulets, rivers and hills. The district is primarily rural with more than 80% of rural population. It has also high percentage of SC/ST population. Relatively sizeable population resides in Tea Gardens and Forest villages which are isolated and mostly inaccessible. The district is the gateway to the entire North-Eastern States and Bhutan. Having high percentage of migrated population different cultural groups (Ranjbanshi, Ravas, Totos, Metch, Santhals, Madasia and Oraons) have created a unique cultural harmony which is rarely seen in other districts of West Bengal.